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How to Choose Your Wedding Colors

If you're struggling with selecting the perfect color scheme for your wedding day, check out this post where we explore the science and style behind how to choose your wedding colors!

When you’re thinking about designing a room in your home (or even just switching up a detail, like a comforter), one of the decisions you will likely make very early is the colors that will inspire your choices. It’s much more difficult to source details in every color than it is to filter your search to hone in on a select few. And, the same is true about choosing your wedding colors.

Choosing Your Wedding Color Scheme

Just like a room in your home, your wedding colors set the mood. Your color choices will guide many of the decisions you make about the details to include in your day. Things like linens, bridesmaids’ dresses, attire for the gents, stationery, and flowers will all be guided by a color palette. As you can probably imagine, it’s an important decision to make. And, one you should make either before or shortly after choosing your wedding venue. So, how do you decide on your wedding colors? There’s more that goes into that decision than you may think.

Whether you’re aware of it or not, there are many different concepts that come into play when it comes to the colors you choose. Concepts including color theory, working in odd numbers, finding inspiration through outside sources, your venue’s location, and your wedding season will all likely have an effect. Below, we’re taking a deep dive into how to choose your wedding colors based on tried and true methods and how to use the things that inspire you. Keep reading!

COLOR THEORY:

If you think back to art classes you took while in school, color theory was likely a concept you studied. There are many elements that go into it (so much so that there are books and complete articles written on the topic!) But color theory can be broken down into three easy to understand pieces that all relate to the color wheel.

  1. Primary Colors: Primary colors are hues that cannot be created by mixing two other colors together (ex: red + yellow = orange). So, the three colors that are the base for every other color on the color wheel are yellow, red, and blue.
  2. Secondary Colors: Secondary colors are created when two primary colors are mixed together. Like we mentioned above, orange is one of them! Two other important secondary colors are purple (red + blue) and green (yellow + blue).
  3. Tertiary Colors: Tertiary colors are made when a secondary color, like purple, is combined with a primary color, like red, to create a new color (red-purple, in this case). These are the colors that truly fill out the color wheel and provide us with so many options!

The other helpful concept to keep in mind when thinking about color theory is color harmony. Color harmony helps to define why certain colors “look good” together. Have you ever wondered why colors like pink and green pair well? It’s because they are complimentary colors, which means they “sit” across from each other on the color wheel. What about uncovering why shades of blue and green blend so well? They “sit” next to each other on the color wheel and are known as analogous colors.   

If you want to be technical and scientific about choosing colors, following color theory is the way to go!

IMPORTANCE OF ODD NUMBERS:

If you have ever researched tips for choosing home décor, the idea of creating groupings of odd numbers has likely popped up. The reason isn’t really a technical one but instead one that’s decidedly more simple: odd numbers create interest and varied paths for your eye to follow.

Wedding colors and design are closely tied together (as you can tell, design principles apply throughout!), so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s recommended to choose an odd number of wedding colors. This creates depth and visual interest, plus it means you won’t have to narrow down your color options to a single choice (too minimal) or have the ability to incorporate every color imaginable (too busy).

The best thing to do: choose at least three wedding colors. It will create interest while also staying simpler and more cohesive.

Read this: How to Choose Wedding Flowers

Color Schemes and Mood Boards from Birdy Grey
Download Wedding Color Schemes and Mood Boards from Birdy Grey

WHERE TO FIND COLOR INSPIRATION:

Now that we’ve talked through some of the more technical details about choosing your wedding colors, we can jump into where to find color inspiration! This process is far more fun, and it will have you looking for color combinations in places outside of the wedding industry.

Personal Favorites:

When you’re beginning to gather inspiration for your wedding colors, the best thing to do is to ask yourself, “What colors do I like?” Your wedding should feel like an extension of you, not someone or something else. So, obviously include colors that you like! Skip over any colors you aren’t drawn to in any other area of your life.

Color Meaning:

Nearly every color has meaning, and uncovering the meanings can be not only fun but a great way to source different colors for your wedding day. For example, pink is often associated with femininity, while yellow is typically associated with joy. This article from Canva explores color and meanings from a graphic design perspective, but the concepts definitely apply to weddings too!

Outside Sources:

Like we just did above, look to outside sources when searching for inspiration. Your first thought will likely be to explore colors as they relate to weddings. But, graphic design and stationery are definitely two areas to explore for color ideas. Also, consider how colors interact with each other in nature (take a hike and look around!) or in bouquets of flowers. Like we mentioned, home décor is a great source and so is fashion.

Wedding Location:

Your wedding venue will help you to decide countless details about your wedding day. In most cases, it can greatly help to guide your wedding color palette. So, think about your wedding venue and the colors that are naturally found there. For example, the colors of the water, the sand, and any grasses in the dunes are great for inspiring beach color palettes. A hotel wedding with an elegant interior might be when you turn to classic pairings, like ivory, gold, and pink. A rustic wedding at a barn might call for a jewel-toned palette of red, yellow, and purple.  

Wedding Season:

Snow falls during the winter; flowers bloom during the spring; the energy is palpable during the summer; leaves change color during the fall. With this in mind, your wedding season can have a direct association with your wedding color palette.

Because the winter is tied to falling snow and cooler temperatures, color palettes, like dusty blue, gray, and white and even all white are popular. The outdoors start to bloom again during the spring, so soft color palettes, like blush, sage, and ivory are popular. Bright colors, like bright pink, coral, and yellow feel like a necessity during the summer. Deeper hues that are still bright (to match the changing of the leaves), like plum, mustard yellow, and burgundy are popular during the fall.

Google, pin or flip through magazines during the season in which you will celebrate. We guarantee you will find plenty of inspiration!

Wedding Suppliers:

Consider building your color scheme around your bridesmaids dresses! We love these mood boards that you can download for free from Birdy Grey.

Have you chosen your wedding colors? What concepts have you used to help you to make a decision? What are your wedding colors?

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